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NOX: An Epitaph for My Brother By Anne Carson (New Directions)

Anne Carson's complex and innovative memorial to the brother she hardly knew is a moving elegy on how difficult it is to fully understand and love your family. The book's beautiful physical attributes make it a great gift for lovers of literature. Anthony Furey

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LEARNING TO COUNT By Douglas Burnet Smith (Frontenac House)

Composed mostly of travel poems set in Europe, this book is a wise and ably structured collection of personal memoirs bolstered by a scaffolding of history, philosophy and art. It's a work that adores the world, but understands that poetry is an intimate thing, and that a marriage of the two needs a thoughtful, patient hand. Jacob McArthur Mooney

WELLING By Margaret Christakos (Your Scrivener Press)

Long a restless renegade in search of a worthy vessel, Christakos clearly honed and clarified her craft over several collections. Consequently, this pièce de résistance, a spectacular achievement enhanced by a formidable talent coming to fruition, contains some of the finest poems to appear in print in recent memory. Judith Fitzgerald


WILSON By Daniel Clowes (D&Q)

Daniel Clowes's glorious and grim graphic novel unspools the story of Wilson, an unemployed 43-year-old divorced loner searching for a shred of meaning in his sad, misanthropic life. Clever and restrained, Wilson is a collection of 71 standalone strips that shift styles (from careful realism to "big-nose" cartoony mode) yet focus squarely on the egotistical main man. Brad Mackay

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TANGLES: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me By Sarah Leavitt (Freehand Books)

When Sarah Leavitt's mother, Midge, first began to show the early symptoms of Alzheimer's, she was only 52. She died eight years later. Tangles, which was short-listed for the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Award, is her graphic memoir, in which the fabric of the family is beautifully woven and reanimating the singular spirit of her mother. Bernice Eisenstein

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